The Business Elite in Europe have had to reign back on many things as the economic climate has deteriorated. But the one thing they haven't cut back on is their use of international print, websites and business and news television channels. They are reading as much as they ever did, increasing their usage of digital media and staying glued to international business and news television channels.
Four out of ten of this eagerly sought and difficult to reach group of people read one or more of the region’s international publications. Examples of all forms of media they’re consuming include:
- 5 out of 10 visited an international media owner’s website in the past month, up 7% on 2008
- 4 out of 10 watched an International TV channel in the last week, up 17% on 2008
- 3 out of 10 read/posted a blog in the last month, up 20% on 2008
Ipsos MediaCT’s new BE:EUROPE 2009 survey (formerly EBRS) also finds that the business elite:
- Are responsible for business purchase decisions in excess of €2.4 trillion
- Work for companies that employ more than two thirds of the working populations surveyed.
The study portrays senior executives who are internet-savvy and early adopters of business and consumer technology.
The current economic climate has changed dramatically and there are some fascinating comparisons to be made between the 2008 and 2009 surveys. Budget cuts have been at the forefront of everyone’s minds over the past 12 months with the business elite, being the most senior people within large companies, spearheading this recent phenomenon. In 2009 they were responsible for business spend of €2.4 trillion of budget spend, down a third on 2008. The areas worse hit included banking and advertising/PR/marketing with average budgets down about a third as well. However, interestingly these figures are still higher than total Business Elite business spend in 2006.
The Business Elite’s investments took a hit inline with the financial markets in which previously they had confidently invested; their net worth even though down by 20% on 2008 is still substantial, standing at €253 billion this year. Interestingly, the number who have 3+ investments has remained stable demonstrating their financial knowledge through an evaluation of their financial portfolio; investments in stocks and shares in quoted companies, which have fluctuated in the past 12 months, is down 11% on 2008, but we see an 38% increase in government securities/Eurobonds/other corporate bonds, which are investments offering fixed returns.
International Business Travel
They remain a key target audience for airlines. They made 4.2 million business flights this year. That said the number not flying has also increased 17%. Targeting those high value frequent business flyers still flying becomes ever more important.
Mette Petersen, Business Elite Development Associate Director, Ipsos MediaCT noted that:
“Our business leaders have not been immune from the current economic downturn. This year’s results paint a very clear picture of the impact of these turbulent times on this vital audience. The Business Elite are flying less often than a year ago, but they remain a crucial audience for airlines. Their personal net worth is down, but still substantial. They continue to invest but are spreading their investment portfolio over less risky investments. Understanding quality audiences and how they adapt and change over time becomes ever more important through these difficult times.”
James Torr, Client Services Associate Director, Ipsos MediaCT, added:
“Europe's Business Elite are a disproportionately important group. When they suffer, some businesses are hit hard. They continue to direct their companies through different types of business crises. The attitudes and behaviours of the next generation of Business Elite will be shaped by the successes and failures of today. Reliable insight, that you can trust, into quality audiences remains vital.”
The 17 countries in which individuals were surveyed were: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
Fieldwork period: October 2007 to August 2008 and April 2009 to August 2009. Sample size 11,222
The details included are the headline figures. More detailed information can be obtained by calling one of the below contacts.
The findings of the survey are to be presented to the report sponsors and media at The Cumberland Hotel, London, on Thursday 22nd October starting at 9am.
For further information:
Ipsos MediaCT UK
Tel: +44(0)20 8080 6135
Ipsos MediaCT UK
Tel: +44(0)20 8861 8173
Ipsos MediaCT UK
T +44 (0)20 8861 8167